I wish it was. I wish there was a way to the top of the mountain without sweating. I wish the waters weren’t rough and we could all just have an idea one day and “BAM” success would come the next. Many of the books and tapes out there want you to think that. They want you to believe if you could just understand what they are trying to tell you and execute as they show you that you would make millions of dollars – fast – without very much effort at all.
I haven’t found that to be true. I know lots of millionaires that are small business owners. If they started from scratch, it was hard. There were times when they were broke. There were times when failure was immenent and through good planning, hard work, and just a little bit of luck falling in their favor, they got through the challenge and prevailed.
Some would say that success has everything to do with your passion and not giving up. I haven’t seen that to be true either. I’ve seen people that worked really hard, stuck to it, had passion and still failed. They lost everything. They had mortgaged their house on their dream of entreprenuership and their idea that they thought couldn’t fail, and they did. It happens.
There’s this special combination of having the right idea, surrounding yourself with great advisors that have experience in what you’re about to do, hard work, passion, capital, and a great plan that is based on reality and hard numbers, that lead people to success in small business. There’s a focus that a successful small business has that others that fail don’t have. They have a clear understanding of their “why”. Like why they are in business in the first place. Why they want to serve the customers they want to serve. Why it is them owning and operating the business and not someone else.
Honestly, though, there’s nothing about the success of a small business owner that I can find sexy. They’re consistent. They’re not all glittery. They have a head for numbers and they are checking them often to keep their thumb on the pulse of the flow of money through their company. They’re able to tell you where their revenue is generated from and what their expenses are as a percentage of their gross sales and can usually tell you their ROI most anytime you ask (if they want to share that with you – the successful one’s usually don’t).
There’s plenty of small business owners that are micro-businesses and have plenty of business to keep them busy and clear maybe what they would if they worked for someone else. They are successful. They are people who didn’t want to work within corporate America and may find it exceptable to work for corporate America, just as a vendor. Yay for anyone who knows exactly what they want, finds their lane, and stays in it.
Small business success that I was describing previously was about those businesses that want build businesses that they can sell one day. Businesses that can be run by someone other then themselves. Small businesses that are building equity so that their owners can sell and retire or step out and receive royalty checks for the rest of their life and leave those businesses to their heirs. That’s what I dream about. That’s what drives me. That would be my definition of small business success. It may not be sexy, but it sure is attractive!